Canadian Parts Makers Ask For Help; Government Says… Something
With the strong loonie, declining auto production and cheap foreign-made parts working against them, auto parts makers in Canada, along with the governments of Ontario and Quebec, asked the federal government for CA$400M in assistance to stay afloat. The response from Federal Industry Minister Jim Prentice came in typical bureaucratese: "I'm certainly happy to sit down and discuss it, but I would point out that the items which the government can control and which ensure competitiveness in the auto sector are items we are working on." Okay, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, what do you have to say on the subject? "Had they [the Ontario and Quebec premiers] been fully briefed, they would be familiar with the $1.3-billion reduction in the capital costs, the accelerated capital costs [for manufacturers], the benefit that we brought in … the March budget, months ago … so the federal government has done a great deal and I'm looking forward to the provinces emulating the federal government." Uh… right. So will they get the assistance or not? We make that a definite maybe.